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Hair Transplants: Everything Explained

FaviconWritten by Editorial Team TecnifueLast Updated January 29, 2024

Are you looking for a permanent solution to your hair loss problems?

Consider getting a hair transplant. With hair transplant surgery, a surgeon can restore a full head of healthy, beautiful hair.

The best part is that realistic outcomes are now possible thanks to major developments in hair transplant procedures.With the right hair transplant surgery, even a professional stylist or barber may be unable to tell that you've had any work done.

This is because surgeons typically only transplant a small number of healthy hairs at a time. This prevents patients from experiencing the artificial, doll-like hairstyles of the 1970s and 1980s.

But before you book an appointment for your hair transplant, take the time to learn all about it to ensure it's the best option for you.

In this guide, we will go over what exactly a hair transplant is and how it works.

We hope this information teaches you everything you need to know about these procedures so you can make an informed decision.

Why Get a Hair Transplant?

Most people who experience hair loss would like to restore what they lost.

This is only natural, but is it worth the cost? Here are some of the top reasons you should consider this option:

  • Appearance. Most people get hair transplants to preserve their youthfulness and improve attractiveness. You can also expect a boost to your confidence and self-esteem.
  • Safety. This cosmetic procedure poses no significant risks to a patient's health. There are no side effects or unsightly scars, and you can typically resume light activity within several days.
  • Permanence. Other solutions, such as medications or toupees, are temporary fixes that need constant maintenance. These solutions are easier to discover and may cause embarrassment.

Natural-Looking Results. You won't need to spend hours trying to match synthetic alternatives to your hair. Instead, you get real results using your own follicles. You can style and even cut your hair as you used to.

What is a Hair Transplant?

A hair transplant is a surgery that moves hair from one part of your body to another. The body parts this hair is taken from are referred to as "donor areas."

Surgeons successfully use hair from the chest, arms, abdomen, and thighs for such procedures. Some hair transplants also use hair from other parts of the scalp and transplant them to bald areas.

The newly transplanted hair then grows in its new position, similar to the other hair around it.

History of Hair Transplants

You may be surprised to learn that hair transplants are relatively novel. The first documented hair transplant occurred in New York in 1952.

A Doctor named Norman Orentreich performed the procedure to help a patient with his male pattern baldness.This procedure was revolutionary as it debunked the belief that hair transplanted to balding areas would simply fall off.

Dr Orentreich demonstrated that transplanted hair would remain on the scalp and grow naturally.

This occurred even if the patient suffered from male pattern baldness.In the following years, doctors began performing hair transplant procedures on a wider scale.

These early transplants utilized skin strips called "hair plugs" that were 2mm to 4mm in size. These strips contained hair follicles through which new hair would grow.

Doctors would attach these strips to the bald spots and wait for them to heal. However, the end result seemed unnatural.

Modern follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE) methods were invented in the 1980s.

These techniques have largely replaced the hair plug method thanks to their superior results. Today, when you hear the term "hair transplant," it refers to one of these two techniques.


How Hair Transplants Work

Now you may be wondering how a hair transplant works.

Well, this procedure can work in one of two ways, depending on the transplant technique you have chosen. The two main transplant techniques are follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE).


Follicular Unit Transplantation

FUT is a technique where the surgeon removes a "graft" from a donor area on your body.

They then attach it to your scalp. So what is a graft in a hair transplant? A graft is a thin strip of skin containing hair.

Surgeons start the graft-removal process by first applying a local anaesthetic to numb the area. They then use tools to remove the graft and stitch the wound left behind shut.

The surgeon then dissects the graft with the help of a microscope and specialized tools. They remove any excess skin that isn't needed to prepare the graft for the transplant.

They create small incisions in the scalp's balding area. These incisions are designed to match the size and shape of the skin graft to be transplanted on.

The surgeon then places grafts onto the incision area and applies antibiotics and bandages to help it heal safely.


Follicular Unit Extraction

FUE is a transplantation technique where the surgeon removes individual hair follicles and transplants them to the scalp.

The surgeon typically starts by shaving the area from where the follicles will be extracted from. They then use a special "micropunch" tool to extract the follicles from the skin.

They identify the scalp areas where the follicles must be inserted and use a needle-like tool to make tiny incisions. Finally, they insert the follicles into these incisions and wrap the region in bandages to heal.


Direct Hair Implantation(DHI)

With this method the extraction happens exactly as with the FUE method.

Each graft is extracted one by one using a micromotor. So no scars here as with the FUT method.

The main advantage of this method is that with this method the opening of channels and implantation of follicles in done with one action.

The Choi Implanter innovation has made this possible.

Are Hair Transplant Results Instantaneous?

Unfortunately, as much as we'd like, results are not instantaneous. Instead, it may take you several months before you finally see the difference.

This is due to the time it takes for the hair in the transplanted area to grow. You will need to be patient until new hair grows!

Are Hair Transplants Safe?

Modern hair transplants are incredibly safe.

You will be awake throughout the procedure as the surgeon typically applies a local anaesthetic to your scalp. The few risks related to these procedures are bleeding or an adverse reaction to the anaesthetic.

But don't worry. Most skilled surgeons run tests to check for this beforehand. All you have to do is choose a reliable hair transplant facility.

The skilled surgeons that perform these procedures take many other precautions to keep you safe. This includes using antibiotics and bandages to prevent post-surgery infections.

You may experience some minor side effects following your procedure, such as itching or swelling on your scalp in the days following your procedure.

This is natural and should subside with time. Some people also develop scabbing in the regions the graft was applied to.

Do Hair Transplants Leave Visible Scarring?

Hair transplants do leave visible scarring. It may be an issue in the days and weeks following your hair transplant.

But the good news is that the hair that grows following the transplant will cover up these scars.

Over time, your new hair should resemble the older hair surrounding it. This will give your hair a natural and complete look.

How Long Do Hair Transplant Results Last?

Your hair transplant results will stay with you for life.

This means people who get this treatment done will never have to repeat it again.

This makes hair transplants a confidence-boosting investment that is well worth your buck!

Do Hair Transplants Work For Everyone?

Hair transplants are useful for people who are experiencing natural balding or balding due to an accident.

For example, you will benefit from a hair transplant if you have developed bald spots on your scalp. Similarly, you can get a hair transplant if you have suffered minor burns to your scalp.

This is useful if you're concerned about being unable to grow hair on burn tissue.However, a hair transplant might not work for someone with specific medical conditions.

For example, cancer patients that have undergone chemotherapy can't get hair transplants. This is because the chemotherapy causes them to lose hair all over their body.

In this situation, it may be better to get a wig than a hair transplant.

How to Prepare for a Hair Transplant Surgery?

Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions to follow before your scheduled hair transplant. Nevertheless, here's a quick rundown of what to expect. 

  • Massage Your Scalp: Massage your scalp for 10 to 20 minutes every day in the week before your surgery. This will make your scalp more elastic by stimulating its follicles. Plus, it will help you relax. After all, who doesn't enjoy a good massage?
  • Avoid Alcohol and Supplements: Avoid consuming alcohol in the days leading up to your surgery. This is because alcohol thins the blood and makes it harder to clot. Drinking alcohol a few days before your surgery may cause excessive blood loss afterward. This increases your risk of experiencing implications.
  • Avoid Painkillers: Painkillers such as Tylenol also thin your blood. For this reason, you should avoid taking them in the days leading up to your procedure. If you need to take these painkillers due to another health condition, inform your surgeon beforehand.
  • Stop Hair Loss Medications: Stop taking any hair loss medications in the days leading up to your surgery. These medications may interfere with your follicle's growth ability. Therefore, it is better to allow your body to revert to its natural state before the surgery.
  • Stay Out of the Sun: Avoid staying in the sun for too long before your surgery. Why? Because your scalp may get sunburnt from prolonged sun exposure. This will make it difficult for the surgeon to complete a successful hair transplant. Consider wearing a hat that covers your scalp if you cannot avoid going outside during the day.


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